Malaysia has been a very popular place for investment for foreign health care companies. You will find that the standard of treatment may even exceed your expectations. Recent statistics report that expatriates are visiting Malaysia in increasing numbers primarily to receive medical treatment as the costs are relatively low (ranked 7 on BUPA's chart with 8 being the lowest cost). In order to be sure that you can afford the standard of health care that you deserve, be sure to invest in a quality health care plan before you relocate. This way, you can be assured that, if something should happen to you or your family, you will be able to seek medical treatment without worrying about the repercussions of steep hospital bills.
Public Health Facilities
Malaysia's public health facilities have not completely developed to meet Western expectations of care. As an expatriate relocating or traveling to Malaysia, it is important to have international insurance coverage that will provide security in the case of unfortunate circumstances. Care in foreign hospitals can get very expensive, yet is still the safest option compared to the uncertainty of local health care. Having the comfort of worldwide medical insurance will make you much more likely to enjoy your time in Malaysia, a nation of beautiful sites and modern excitement.
Malaysia's Health Reform
Malaysia's government instituted a program called the 'First Malaya Plan'. From 1956 until 1960 government resources were alllocated to train and develop medical professionals. Within this plan, schools were designed specifically for the education of physicians and paramedics. Also, the expansion of health resources to rural areas became a priority, as well as the establishment of special services outside of large urban areas.
In addition to these objectives, the First Malaya Plan was put into effect as a way to develop a stronger health care infrastructure, including hospitals, clinics and research facilities.
In 1963, the Malaysia that we know today was created. Six years after independence from the United Kingdom, the country that had heretofore been known as " Malaya" joined with two former British colonies on the island of Borneo and the federation of Malaysia was established.
Soon after, the government again revamped ideas to improve health care. "Under the First Malaysia Plan", put in place from 1966-1970, new health care facilities were established in rural areas and scores of new medical professionals trained. Another priority of the First Malaysia Plan was the improvement of public health services that were made available to citizens across the country. These efforts vastly improved the imbalance between health care in cities and that which was available in the countryside. As a new country, Malaysia was developing a medical care system that would be able to meet the needs of its people. Due to a changing demographic and fluid socio-economic conditions, Malaysia instituted a flexible health care development plan that could accommodate the challenges of growth. However, Malaysia still had quite a ways to go in order to meet the standards of care that were expected in developed countries.
The Second and Third Malaysia Plan (undertaken in 1971-1975 and 1976-1980, respectively) were the first to institute the idea of family planning, which was an issue in cities and rural areas alike. The Second Malaysia Plan established a country-wide development program for dental treatment, and the Third Malaysia Plan carried out an even more expansive agenda for building new hospitals and refurbishing outdated establishments. As with the First Malaya Plan and First Malaysia Plan before them, the Second and Third Malaysia Plans (MP) focused on bringing health care to the rural parts of the country where it was badly needed.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, with the implementation of the fourth, fifth and sixth MPs, Malaysia expanded health care reform to include general public education. Malaysian citizens were made aware of healthy practices and methods of illness prevention. In a nationwide consciousness program, Malaysians learned about how to use basic medical technology, were granted access to a reliable health information system and were given methods for primary illness treatment. The objective of the program was to achieve "health for all by the year 2000".
During the seventh MP (1996-2000), emphasis remained on public health awareness. However, with technological advances and a changing infrastructure, the plan expanded to include television and internet avenues that made information more readily available to the people. A broad health information system brought reference material to the populous, while at the same time promoting careers in the medical field and safety at home.
Since the arrival of the new millennia, the eighth and ninth MPs have likewise focused on technology as an avenue for education and change. These programs have also worked to reduce disease burden, develop human capital, extend the availability of health services, focus on providing for the people, and equalize the services between urban and rural areas. Another forefront concern is to improve the nation's capacity to deal with health crises and disaster, the underlying goal being a strongly developed health care infrastructure.
Without the government's vision, Malaysia 's health care system would be decades behind the level that it has reached today. From the inception of the First Malaya Plan, Malaysia has increased the number of community clinics from 26 to 1,919, expanded health clinics from 16 to 895, increased hospitals and medical institutions from 65 to 134 as well as private hospitals from 50 to 233.
As a recently developed country, Malaysia 's forward-looking emphasis on health care has allowed the nation to grow great lengths further than other countries with a similar modern history. However, as an expatriate living in Malaysia, you will find that the medical treatment available still has many ways in which it must still improve.